What is a cookie?

A cookie is a small piece of data that is sent from a website and stored on your computer. Most websites you will visit use cookies because they allow the website to remember who you are. Cookies can improve your browsing experience throughout the duration of your visit, and even on repeat visits. For example, when you sign into the ChartDynamix.com My-Account portal to manage your subscriptions, a “session cookie” is set so that the website remembers that you have already logged in. If the website did not set this cookie, you would be asked for your login and password on each new page you visited.

What kinds of cookies exist?

There are many other types of cookies in addition to the “authentication” cookies referenced above. For example, some cookies let the website remember your preferences, and other advertising cookies can be used to track the performance of online marketing campaigns. When browsing ChartDynamix.com there are “first party” cookies set by Chart Dynamix, as well as “third party” cookies such as a Facebook “Like” button that remembers that you liked a page.

Is there a way to prevent cookies from being set?

Cookies are generally harmless. However some users do not want their information to be stored, even if it is being used to enhance their user experience. While it is possible to block or delete some cookies from your browser settings, you can expect to lose some website functionality if you do so.

For more general information on cookies see the Wikipedia article on HTTP Cookies.